UAE-based telecoms operator Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) has reported a 23% fall in third-quarter net profit to AED1.74 billion (USD473 million), as it seeks expansion opportunities abroad. Reuters reports that the company generated revenue of AED7.3 billion in 3Q10, versus just under AED8 billion in the same period a year ago due to increased competition in its domestic market. Net profit for the nine months ended 30 September 2010 totalled AED5.6 billion, down from AED6.4 billion in the same period of 2009, while revenue generated in the nine-month period fell 2% year-on-year to AED23.325 billion. Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat has been aggressively expanding outside the UAE since it lost its monopoly to Dubai-based competitor du in 2007. Earlier in the month the operator said it was bidding for a 46% stake in Kuwaiti telecoms group Zain. ‘No final agreement has been reached at the date of approval of the … financial information as this offer depends on the fulfillment of specific requirements and conditions that must be met to finalise the deal,’ Etisalat said in a statement.
Etisalat reported 7.81 million mobile subscribers at 30 September 2010, an increase of 10,000 over the quarter. At the same date, fixed telephone lines totalled 1.25 million, while internet connections declined by 40,000 quarter-on-quarter to 1.35 million due to falling dial-up users.